With the upcoming release of my first sober book on April 29th, 2021, I thought it would be a good time to talk a little about what you can expect from Alcohol Free Straight Up with a Twist. First of all, I did not set out to write a book on sobriety. As many of you know, I started writing a blog on day one of my sobriety as a way to keep myself accountable. I thought, by writing what I experienced, I could keep in touch with my feelings throughout the journey. I did not expect to write for as long as I have about my journey, nor did I expect to have my life focus shifted in the way it has since quitting drinking. After writing 101 daily blogs in a row about my experience, I decided to turn them into a book with my reflections and lessons learned since. I feel blessed and honored to be one of the people who have truly experienced a life-changing event. Quitting drinking did that for me and continues to do so on a daily basis. My book is about this ever-evolving journey. This blog is meant to give you a taste of what to expect.
My journey carried me in many different directions as I continued down the path of hopeful sober enlightenment
I started out writing about what I was feeling in sobriety. I wrote about how my days went, what I felt, and what kinds of changes I was going through. It did not take long before something unexpected occurred that would forever change the course of my life. You see, when my partner and I quit drinking, we did so without all the preconceived notions of sobriety so widely prevalent in the sober community. We did not know most people complained about the difficulty of quitting drinking. We were unaware of the struggles most people go through when they quit and throughout the rest of their lives. We did not know we were about to embark on a journey touted by many as one of the most difficult things a person can do. No, we simply decided to quit drinking and we did so together. I slowly started to realize there was a difference in my experience and the experience of many others. I joined some groups and dug deeper into the sober community to see what was happening for others. What I found bothered me.
What I found was many people were struggling horrifically with their sobriety. Why? How could it be so different? I didn't understand why people's experience could be so different so I decided to learn as much as I could about sobriety. With the help of my therapist, at the time, and my undying need to understand, I began to unravel some discrepancies in the sober experience. As you read through my book, you will see how I begin toying with different ideas to try and uncover some truths about addiction and sobriety. I toyed with the ideas of core beliefs, something I learned about in therapy and something I continue to learn and write about today. I played around with mindfulness and positive self-talk. I tried my best to always speak from a positive voice in an effort to change not only the way I felt about alcohol and addiction but to help change the way others feel about alcohol and addiction as well. My journey carried me in many different directions as I continued down the path of hopeful sober enlightenment. You may ask if I have found it. Did I find sober enlightenment? Well, I can't say I have fully found it, yet. But, I am definitely on my way and I will do my best to articulate my findings as I move forward down my path of what I like to call, Easy Sobriety.
Sobriety is what we make it and that includes the way we think, the way we feel, the words we use, and the actions we exhibit
If you are anything like most people I have encountered, those last two words are difficult to hear in regard to recovery. Why? Do they suggest an impossible ideal? Are they unrealistic? Is there something out there contradicting the probability of their truth? No. I am living proof, and so is my partner. Not only that, but the more I dig into the sober community the more I find others who have experienced something similar. Even if the term easy is not how some of these people would describe their sobriety, they certainly do not use words such as struggle, difficult, impossible, excruciating, or any other negatively derived words or phrases. They have figured out one of the key values in successful sobriety. Sobriety is what we make it and that includes the way we think, the way we feel, the words we use, and the actions we exhibit. I have said this many, many times throughout my blogs and podcasts: if we believe sobriety is difficult, it is; and in contrast, if we believe sobriety is easy, it is. We have the power to dictate our experience by changing our mindset, beliefs, feelings, and the language we use.
We have often heard how we can change our beliefs to change our actions, but have you considered it works both ways? Can we change our actions to also change our beliefs? Of course, we can. I believe we have the power to virtually cut and paste our realities to fit our goals. We simply have to believe we have the power to do so. For example: when I look back on my experience in sobriety, it is clear to me the reason my experience was so different was because I did not believe it was going to be hard. Now, I was not looking forward to it. I did not want to admit I had to give up something I loved. I was quite pissed about it as a matter of fact. Nevertheless, once I made the decision to do so, I did so without the negative and damaging belief it was going to be difficult. Because of this, my experience was actually quite easy when compared to the stories I hear from many others. There is only one reason for this. I did not believe it was going to be hard. So, it wasn't.
Tell me how changing our actions does not have the power to change the way we believe, feel, and see differently
In the above example, my belief affected my actions and experience. But, can we change our actions to change our beliefs as well. I believe we can. I believe we can act in ways that change the way we believe, feel, and see as well. How? Think about it. Addictions generally stem from a negative mindset. This negative mindset feeds on actions that are unhealthy both physically and emotionally. We do things physically and emotionally harmful to us because we believe we do not deserve better. What if we changed our actions in a way that counteracted that belief? What if we ate better? What if we exercised more? What if we used more positive words, especially in reference to ourselves? What if we walked with our heads higher and noticed more of the beauty around us every day? What if we allowed ourselves to be more aware of each other and therefore acted in ways that supported a more community-based mindset? Tell me we would not be different people. Tell me the world would not be a different place. Tell me how changing our actions does not have the power to change the way we believe, feel, and see differently. It can, but we have to make those changes, and change can be scary.
One of the driving forces behind my blogs in the beginning was to try and put out as much positivity as I could about sobriety. I wanted to try and change the way we look at addiction, recovery, and life after addiction. I wanted to find a way to articulate to the person embarking on their sober journey for the first time that it does not have to be difficult, it does not have to suck, it does not have to be boring, it does not have to be lonely, and it does not have to be life-long. We can have any experience we want as long as we believe the experience we want is possible. The best way to change the way we think about these things is to change the way we talk about them. I figured if I consistently talk about sobriety as being easy enough times, somebody may hear it, believe it, and then experience it too. If that happens, my work is done.
My first book, Alcohol Free Straight Up with a Twist is my first 101 day journey toward Easy Sobriety. It is my way of putting out in the world a different experience about sobriety. I hope people will see it as something to follow on their own path or to use as a way of reflecting on their current or past experience. I included reflections about my journey after the fact in regard to the support networks we need in recovery as well as my experience with therapy. I offer some tips I believe to be very helpful for achieving easy sobriety such as, sitting with discomfort, perpetuating positivity, and living a label-free sobriety. I also include some recommended reading for sobriety and recovery that helped me. I hope you will check out my first attempt at writing about sobriety and follow me on my continual journey of living well, alcohol-free and living my best life.
Because of you, I am chasing my dreams of writing professionally
and working for myself
As a little teaser, I want to let you all know that book two is already mostly written. In it, I talk in more detail about the actual steps necessary in achieving easier sobriety. My second book about sobriety will be called, Easy Sobriety. I will be pushing for it to be released in about a year. We will see how it goes. It will most likely be dependent on how well Alcohol Free Straight Up with a Twist does. Fingers crossed. I also want to thank everyone for all your support over this period of time. You all kept me writing and kept me accountable. Because of you, I am chasing my dreams of writing professionally and working for myself. I have never felt more successful and capable of achieving everything I want to achieve. You helped me believe in myself. I am forever grateful to you from the bottom of my heart.
Here is a link to my book launch promotional video, if you are interested: